By any modern standard for great Italian dining, Tony's Baltimore Grill in Atlantic City is past its prime, from the Formica and red vinyl '60s decor to the mushy spaghetti still loved by silver-haired patrons who've been regulars for much of this tavern's 85 years. Tony's sausage pizza, though, is timeless, even if in our gourmet-pizza craze, it also looks like an out-of-fashion relic. Cooked in classic ring pans that recall the lids of old pretzel tins Tony's once used, the nearly crustless rounds of yeasty soft dough evoke the simpler tastes of the 1920s. But there is just something about it — the crunch of caramelized cheese around the edges, the zing of oregano and zippy sauce, the chewy crumbles of fresh house-recipe sausage — that kept drawing us back for bite after bite. Count us as one more family that's coming back for take-out to make Tony's sausage pies a Shore tradition.
Sausage pizza, $10.50, Tony's Baltimore Grill, 2800 Atlantic Ave., Atlantic City, 609-345-5766.